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The UAH/NSSTC Advanced Radar for Meteorological and Operational Research (ARMOR)The past four years have seen a marked enhancement in meteorological-radar infrastructure and radar-research capability at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH) and National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC; a collaborative center supported by UAH, NASA-MSFC and USRA). This enhancement is due in part to the development of the ARMOR C-band dual-polarimetric radar facility (amongst other mobile radar facilities also discussed in this conference). The ARMOR radar, located at Huntsville International Airport, originated as a unique collaboration between university, government and broadcast meteorologists (the very first of its kind relative to concurrent operational, research and broadcast applications of dual-polarimetry). Contributions from each of these entities resulted in the upgrade of a surplus National Weather Service WSR-74C radar to a research-grade C-band polarimetric radar. The initial upgrade of the radar took place in late 2004 with WHNT-TV purchase and installation of a SIGMET (now Vaisala) Antenna Mounted Receiver (AMR), RVP8/RCP8 radar processor/antenna controller, new radome, and a new dual-polarimetric antenna feed. The AMR enabled simultaneous transmit and receive (STSR) capability and hence collection of dual-polarimetric moments. During the initial part of the AMR upgrade the original WSR74C antenna reflector and 250 kW magnetron-transmitter were used. In early 2005, a new 350 kW magnetron transmitter was purchased from Baron Services and installed. In October of 2006 a new high performance parabolic antenna and dual-pol feed (Seavey) were installed together with a new Orbit pedestal. ARMOR Radar control and data delivery are facilitated through the use of T-1 lines that run from the airport to both NSSTC and WHNT-TV in Huntsville. Under current operating protocols radar scanning and product development are completed at NSSTC, though meteorologists at WHNT-TV can also control the radar if desired. In its default scanning configuration the radar is operated 24/7 in an STSR polarimetric rain scan mode alternating with a surveillance scan on a 5-minute cycle; scans separated by 2.5 minutes. Every 2.5 minutes the raw data arrive at NSSTC where they are corrected in real time for attenuation and differential attenuation (using a constrained ZDR/Z-PHI approach) and new products are generated (e.g., rain maps, hydrometeor identification etc.). The raw and derived products are archived at NSSTC and also redistributed locally in real time over the network within NSSTC to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Huntsville (collocated with NSSTC) for operational use. During periods of interesting weather the radar is often operated in full, sector, or RHI volume modes from NSSTC and coincident with UAH mobile radar or NWS NEXRAD radar platforms as needed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Petersen, Walter A.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Knupp, Kevin
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Carey, Lawrence D.
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Phillips, Dustin
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Deierling, Wiebke
(National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO, United States)
Gatlin, Patrick
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
October 5, 2009
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 34th Conference on Radar Meteorology
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Country: United States
Start Date: October 5, 2009
End Date: October 9, 2009
Sponsors: American Meteorological Society
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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